Tag:2011 NFL Preseason
Posted on: August 20, 2011 7:59 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 8:01 pm
 

Ochocinco offers to reimburse Foster for fine

M. Foster could be facing a fine (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When Buccaneers LB Mason Foster smacked Patriots WR Chad Ochocinco in a helmet to helmet hit Thursday, he caused an incompletion and received a pat on the back from his teammates -- and from Ochocinco himself. But he also might have earned himself a fine for an illegal hit (he was penalized for unnecessary roughness at the time).

No problem, Ochocinco said.

He took to Twitter on Friday and wrote to Foster, “great hit last night,if u're fined I'll reimburse u boss.That's the way the game should b played.Stay healthy n have a good yr.” Responded Foster: “thanks Bruh I appreciate it, goodluck to you too.”

But under the NFL rules, Ochocinco isn’t allowed to pay for Foster’s fine. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT that nobody can pay a player’s fine but that player himself and that nobody can reimburse that player.

So, if the league fines Foster, who was drafted by Tampa Bay in the third round and signed a four-year, $2.7 million deal with $1.4 million guaranteed, it’s going to come directly out of his own paycheck.

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Posted on: August 20, 2011 1:08 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 1:15 pm
 

Reid: Maclin is back, will return to practice

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin hasn’t practiced this season while he’s dealt with a mysterious illness that he hasn’t wanted to talk about publicly. He’s returned to St. Louis for tests, and it’s been proven that he doesn’t have cancer.

But good news today, as Andy Reid told the media, including the Philadelphia Daily News that Maclin has returned to the team. Now, he’ll spend the next week or so working to get back in shape before he returns to practice.

Assuming that Maclin is ready to go early in the regular season -- and Reid says there's no doubt Maclin will be prepared to play in the season opener -- the Eagles WR corps of DeSean Jackson, Maclin, Steve Smith and Jason Avant will be a tough one for opposing defenses to stop. But now it seems that Maclin is getting healthy, and really, that’s the most important news of all.

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Posted on: August 20, 2011 12:28 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 5:03 pm
 

What happens if Peyton Manning can't play?

P. Manning still isn't ready to return from his neck surgery (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If there isn’t panic these days in Indianapolis about the future of the Colts quarterback position, perhaps there should be. Peyton Manning, coming off neck surgery, hasn’t practiced yet, and though it’s too early to gnash your teeth about Manning’s newly-signed five-year, $90 million contract, Colts fans have to be worried about his long-term health.

Not to mention the long-term prospects of the rest of the Colts quarterbacks.

Curtis Painter, Manning’s long-time backup, still hasn’t proved he can be a starting QB in this league, and one of the few passes I saw Dan Orlovsky throw during Indianapolis’ putrid loss to the Redskins on Friday was a terribly underthrown ball that was intercepted by Washington.

And if you’re not concerned about it, Indianapolis Star's Bob Kravitz explains why you should be.

Writes Kravitz: “There are three weeks remaining before the regular season begins, and unless Manning is back within a week, it's fair to worry whether he'll be ready to roll when it counts. (If you're asking when Manning will return, here's the answer: I. Don't. Know. And I'm not sure Manning and the doctors know just yet, either.)"

This hasn’t ever really been an issue for Manning and the Colts. He’s been remarkably durable throughout his career, and the Colts have ridden his talent to nine-straight 10-win seasons and nine-straight playoff appearances. But does anyone think that, if Manning can’t play right away, Painter or Orlovsky can step in and play half as well? That the Colts could still compete for the AFC South title? Of course not.

Which leads Kravitz to question the Colts plan when it comes to backup quarterbacks. He talked to GM Chris Polian about it.

Peyton's Place ... on the sidelines?
"You get into the philosophy of, 'Do you want an experienced guy who may not be able to stay healthy if he had to play more than a couple of games, or a young guy with talent who's got a chance to ascend?'” Polian asked. “Part of what makes the backup quarterback position unique is more than physical qualities: What's the guy's contribution going to be in the meeting room? What's his role going to be in practice? Is he OK with what his role is going to be?

"Traditionally, because of the way Peyton wants to prepare, the backup doesn't get much work outside of training camp. And that's fine; I'm not going to complain about the results. But when we've inquired about vets in the past, there have been some financial limitations. This is not the best, most appealing spot for a guy who says, 'If somebody gets hurt and I can play four games, I can play somewhere else next year.' This is more of a destination spot, so that's led us a little more to the younger guys."

Or as owner Jim Irsay, who says Terrelle Pryor isn’t an option, tweeted Saturday, “We r evaluating the QB sitch,#18 healing but we got 2 b prepared 4 early season possibility without him,defense has 2 pick it up,big time!”

If Manning can’t get healthy quickly, the Colts plan might need to change. And fast.

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Posted on: August 20, 2011 10:36 am
 

Todd Haley now upset with John Harbaugh

Todd Haley and John Harbaugh share a handshake and some words (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

During Friday's preseason telecast between the Chiefs and the Ravens, the commentators wondered how Kansas City coach Todd Haley would react to a late Baltimore timeout and a touchdown run by RB Anthony Allen with eight seconds to play in the Ravens 31-14 win.

The producer even made sure to catch the postgame handshake between Haley and Ravens coach John Harbaugh as the two had a longer-than-normal conversation.

Sure enough, Haley was upset, which led Harbaugh to say this to reporters after the game.

"I want to apologize to the Chiefs if they feel like we were not doing the right thing at the end of the game," Harbaugh said, via MASN Sports. "That wasn't the mindset, OK? The mindset was -- this is the preseason. If this had been the regular season, we would've been on a knee. The idea in that situation is to give those young guys who work hard and who are trying to make a football team -- this football team or another football team -- to play the whole 60 minutes and give them a chance to show what they can do. Offensive line, running backs, everybody.

"I know that's debatable, I know there's a point of view both ways, I understand that. But I just feel like that was the right thing to do for our players, to give them a chance to play the game out and see what they can do. So, that was the thinking on that."

Harbaugh is wrong. That mindset isn’t “debatable.” No, that mindset is “perfectly reasonable.” Harbaugh even tried to explain it to Haley afterward.

"I think he said something like, 'I don't know about that,'" Harbaugh said. "I understood, and I just said, 'Preseason, preseason for the young guys.' He said 'OK.'

You’ll remember that Haley got really upset last year and refused to shake the hand of former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels for running up the score on the Chiefs or for McDaniels’ participation in New England’s Spygate or for something. You’ll also recall that it led to this classic picture of Haley wagging his finger in McDaniel’s face.

Haley, McDaniels

Haley later apologized for letting his emotions get the best of him, and the next time the two teams met, Haley and McDaniels did shake. Haley was given a pass because there were many observers who believed he was in the right against McDaniels.

But a preseason game when it’s clear the Ravens are trying to work on their team and see how their bubble players perform on the field? A preseason game that, last time I checked, doesn’t mean anything in the standings? I mean, really?

"Their coach has to do what he has to do to get his team ready," Haley said. "I'm trying to do what we need to do to get our team ready."

And if Haley is preparing himself for a long season of being offended by opposing coaches, he’s certainly on the right track.

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 11:33 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 5:44 pm
 

Cards RB Ryan Williams officially out for season

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (Aug. 20; 5:39 p.m. ET): It's official: Cardinals RB Ryan Williams is out for the season, as Rapid Reporter Craig Morgan writes.

Said coach Ken Whisenhunt on Saturday: "The human element gets lost sometimes. You’re so excited about a young man like Ryan and you build a relationship with him over a short time. You want to see him have success and then that’s put on hold.”

----------

While Tim Hightower was performing impressively for the Redskins on Friday night (six carries, 70 yards, TD), his former team might be longing for a backup to its starting RB.

Ryan Williams Injury
That’s because rookie Ryan Williams -- selected in the second round by the Cardinals to compete with Beanie Wells for the starting spot -- most likely ruptured the patella tendon in his right knee during Arizona’s preseason loss to the Packers. That was what coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters, via Cards Chatter, after the game, and if that injury is confirmed, Williams will miss the rest of the season.

Williams had to be carted off the field after he was tackled by Green Bay rookie S M.D. Jennings and awkwardly landed on his right leg. Williams’ teammates surrounded him before he left for the locker room, and he held his head in his hands as he left the field.

Without Williams in the lineup, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Alfonso Smith are the RBs that would back up Wells -- who was brittle himself last season. Either way, it’s a devastating loss for the Cardinals.

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 10:03 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 11:03 pm
 

John Beck shows why Shanahan likes him

J. Beck played well against Indianapolis in the preseason (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If John Beck is unofficially the official starting QB this year for Washington, he proved tonight that he might actually be ready, looking awfully competent against an uninterested Colts defense while completing 14 of 17 passes for 140 yards.

Yes, yes. Cue the “it’s only the preseason” comments, and that’s most definitely true. But if you’re a Redskins fan, would you rather have Beck look bad? No, of course not. So, the fact he helped lead Washington to a 16-3 lead before exiting the game is only a positive (he also had plenty of help from RBs Tim Hightower and Roy Helu, who combined for 146 yards on 14 carries in the first half).

And if you root for Washington and you assume Beck WILL beat out Rex Grossman, you have to look at tonight’s game as a step forward, especially when you consider he’s only started four games in his career (and that was four years ago, and he lost all four games!), and his stats aren’t especially hot (as you can see here in the CBSSports.com player profile).

One question Rapid Reporter Tom James asked before the game started was how he would handle a pass rush. Beck -- who missed the first preseason game because of a groin injury -- has more mobility than Grossman, but he also hasn’t played well when the defense sends pressure his way.

Beck passed that test tonight, as James writes that Beck, “showed his athleticism in the first half, a stark contrast to Rex Grossman. Grossman gets rid of the ball faster, Beck holds onto it, knowing he can elude pressure and make plays with his legs.”

After the game, coach Mike Shanahan seemed relatively pleased with Beck's play, saying (via Chris Russell of ESPN 980) "John did a good job. Always room for improvement." Meanwhile, Beck said, "I feel pretty good about it, but I'm antsy to see the tape."

Some think Beck wrapped up his starting duties tonight, but remember, Grossman played pretty well in that first game (19 of 26, 207 yards and a TD) when he started. Still, if the Redskins end up choosing Beck, tonight’s performance should give you some insight into why it seems that coach Mike Shanahan likes him so much.

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 6:54 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 8:58 pm
 

Report: Clinton Portis tried out with Patriots

PortisPosted by Josh Katzowitz

In case you were wondering what happened to RB Clinton Portis -- aside from the fact Ryan Torain is still waving to him in his rearview mirror -- the Boston Herald has the news that the former Redskins star was in town Friday to work out with the Patriots.

Portis has had a number of good years for the Broncos and Redskins, gaining at least 1,200 yards in six of the seven seasons between 2002-08,and it’s a tad surprising his name hasn’t been brought up more as a viable free agent (I mean, when Tiki Barber is getting more pub than you, that’s not a great thing). But then again, Portis is 29 years old -- certainly middle age at his position -- and he’s been slowed down by injuries.

Last year, the loss of Portis for 11 games (he only carried the ball 54 times for 227 yards after suffering a torn abdominal muscle) led to the impressive play by Torain, hastening Portis’ departure out of town, especially since he was going to be paid $8.2 million for 2011.

It seems rather unlikely the Patriots are the team for Portis, though. They’ve already got young talent in BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, as well as draft picks Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Portis land somewhere this season.

As the preseason continues, there are bound to be teams who wouldn’t mind having Portis around to help build depth. Wouldn’t you rather have him than Barber anyway?

First, he'll have to get in better shape. As the Boston Globe writes, Portis apparently wasn't at all fit during his tryout after having to lose 25 pounds in two weeks. Hmm, maybe teams would rather have an in-shape Barber rather than an eccentric overweight Portis.

UPDATED (8:56 p.m. ET): Player agent JR Rickert disputes the Globe claim. He tweeted that Poris weighed in at 222 pounds and there is "absolutely no truth to him being overweight."

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 11:04 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 11:25 pm
 

Danny Woodhead smashed on punt return (VIDEO)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Patriots RB Danny Woodhead’s helmet was taken away from him by trainers Thursday night after he was crushed on a Patriots punt by Buccaneers S Devin Holland, meaning two things happened on the play: Holland could face a fine, and it might be a little while before Woodhead is cleared to play again.

While Woodhead covered a punt midway through the fourth quarter, Holland blasted him in a blind-side hit that appeared like a helmet to helmet blow. Woodhead, who remained on his stomach for a few seconds after the hit, tried leaving the field, but he was extremely wobbly and was soon surrounded by his teammates. Trainers eventually walked him off the field, and when they got to the sideline, they took away his helmet.

After the game, Woodhead told reporters he was fine.

While working with the first team offense in the Patriots 31-14 win against Tampa Bay, Woodhead gained 63 yards on five carries and looked just as good as he did last year in his breakout rookie season.

Until Holland smashed him. And it might mean Holland is going to be hearing from the commissioner’s office sooner rather than later.



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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com